One of the things that makes London such a special place to visit is the fact that the past sits alongside the modern. London is a city that gives a great deal of respect to its history, with medieval buildings and architecture sitting alongside the most modern of designs.
And this particular emphasis on preserving London’s past means that you can find fantastic architecture almost anywhere you look in the capital. With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide to where you can find some architectural gems within a short distance of your Finsbury Square hotel.
Dating from the beginning of the 15th century, Guildhall Great Hall – to give the place its full name – has served as the seat of city government for over six-hundred years. But it’s as much the design and architecture of the place that brings visitors to Guildhall as it is the history, with the site the single surviving medieval building in the city that isn’t a church. And it’s only a ten-minute walk from the best Finsbury Square bars if you fancy a refreshment after visiting.
The exterior of Guildhall carries a beautiful, medieval gothic façade, giving the place a wonderful, dramatic feeling as you approach. But it’s also worth venturing inside Guildhall to see the stunning interior design and architecture of the building. The inside of Guildhall is all ornate stonework, vaulted ceilings and dramatic lighting, and a journey inside is like taking a step back into the past.
The Bank of England
When it comes to the looks and architecture of The Bank of England, there’s an interesting and somewhat controversial story behind how the building looks today.
The bank’s original look came into being in the late 18th and early 19th century, with famed architect Sir John Sloane overseeing affairs. However, a rebuilding program in the middle of part of the 20th century saw a significant overhaul of the original design. This led to a division between those who saw the new design as defacement of the original, and those who thought the rebuild successfully merged the old and the new.
It’s worth making the ten-minute or so walk from Finsbury Square Hotel to The Bank of England to make up your mind. It’s a dramatic, awe-inspiring building and it’s somewhere you’ll want to explore in detail because the rear of the building and the front portion display strikingly different architectural styles.
Dennis Severs’ House
Located on Folgate Street – just a quick walk from Montcalm Royal London House spa – Dennis Severs’ House is as much about taking in the interior of the place as it is about seeing the architecture of an 18th century London townhouse.
Essentially, Dennis Severs’ House is a time capsule, showing the different living styles and times of successive generations of the Severs family. Once you cross over the threshold of the place, you feel as though you have truly stepped back in time into the 18th century. The interior and exterior of the building are a perfectly preserved representation of the period, and it feels like the residents could breeze into the room at any time. It’s a beautiful place, and somewhere you won’t regret checking out.